Drug action teams failing to assess users’ needs

Nearly half of drug action teams in England are failing to give drug users a comprehensive assessment of their needs, a review of drug treatment by the health watchdog and the government’s drugs quango has found.

The Healthcare Commission and National Treatment Agency research found that out of 149 DATS in England, 48 per cent were given a rating of “weak” and 32 per cent a rating of “fair” on comprehensive needs assessments.

Two-thirds of DATs were also rated “weak” for risk assessments on people who misused alcohol and those with a history of overdoses.

While the review showed widespread improvements in keeping service users in treatment longer and involving service users, the Healthcare Commission and the National Treatment Agency said more consistency in services was needed.


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